Animal rights organization PETA has sent an urgent letter to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas, urging his office to vigorously prosecute rapper DMX, AllHipHop.com has learned.
DMX, born Earl Simmons, was arrested on May 9, after police raided his Cave Creek, Arizona home and charged him with seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and four felony charges of possessing drugs.
Police investigated the rapper for seven months, after officials discovered 12 neglected, malnourished dogs on his property last August, as well as the remains of three others who may have been burned before they were buried.
In the May 9, raid police recovered 5 more pitbull puppies on the rappers property, as well as weapons and drugs.
DMX was arrested after he briefly barricaded himself in a room, during the standoff with authorities.
In addition to its own letter and efforts, PETA is urging supporters to contact Thomas as well and complain about DMXs treatment of animals.
"Simmons appears to be either unable or unwilling to provide even the most basic care for animals," PETA cruelty caseworker Peter Wood told AllHipHop.com in a statement. People who demonstrate such blatant disregard for life and desensitization to suffering can pose a serious risk to all animalsincluding humanswith whom they come into contact."
PETA is calling for Simmons to be incarcerated if he is convicted of the charges against him.
The organization also says Simmons should be prohibited from owning or harboring animals. Additionally, PETA believes the rapper should be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling.
In 2002, Simmons was sentenced to a year of probation and was ordered to pay $13,000 dollars in fines, after he pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal abuse.
Those charges stemmed from a June 1999 raid of his Teaneck, New Jersey home in which police recovered a loaded 9 mm pistol in a dresser, hollow-nosed bullets, a high-capacity magazine, six "used glass cocaine-smoking pipes" and 13 pit bulls.
PETA's letter to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas is posted unedited below.
May 12, 2008 The Honorable Andrew P. Thomas Maricopa County Attorney 301 W. Jefferson, Ste. 800 Phoenix, AZ 85003
Dear Mr. Thomas:
PETA is the world's largest animal rights organization, with more than 1.8 million members and supporters dedicated to animal protection. This letter pertains to Earl Simmons, 37, also known as DMX, who has been indicted on seven cruelty-to-animals charges and four felony drug possession charges. The indictment reportedly stems from officials' August discovery of 12 neglected, malnourished, and scarred pit bulls on the suspect's Cave Creek property, north of Phoenix. Also said to have been found by authorities were three dogs who had been buried on the property in question. According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, one of these unfortunate dogs may have been burned. This is not the aging rapper's first brush with officials regarding his alleged mistreatment of animals. In 2002, authorities discovered 13 caged and apparently neglected pit bulls on Simmons' property in Teaneck, N.J.; Simmons pleaded guilty to cruelty-to-animals charges and was fined and placed on probation.
Mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider cruelty to animals to be a red flag. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of these crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behaviornot the species of the victimthat matters.
On behalf of our members and supporters in Arizona, we respectfully urge your office to prosecute Simmons to the fullest extent of the law. Becauseas Simmons' alleged conduct may well demonstraterepeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we implore your office to take every measure necessary to ensure that Simmons, if convicted, is barred from owning or harboring animals for as long as possible. We ask also that if convicted, he serve a meaningful period of incarceration and be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his own expensethe safety of the community may depend on it. Thank you in advance for your diligence in this matter and for your time and consideration.
Peter Wood, Cruelty Caseworker Emergency Response Team Cruelty Investigations Department